Thursday, 15 February 2007
The Development of Fictional-World Cognition
Deena Skolnick Weisberg, Department of Psychology
4:30 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: The ability to represent things that aren't real is a crucial cognitive skill. We use this skill when planning for the future, when projecting the outcomes of events that have not occurred, and when understanding stories. Unlike most of cognition, this skill is explicitly and purposely directed away from the current reality and towards fictional worlds. What is the nature of our ability to understand, create, and interact with these worlds? How does this ability arise over the course of development? I will present some empirical work with adults and children that aims to answer these questions and elucidate the nature and origins of fictional-world cognition.